Former Pakistan spinner held over IPL bets
LAHORE: Former Pakistan Test spinner Akram Raza, fined in a match-fixing inquiry eleven years ago, was arrested over betting on lucrative Indian league matches, police said Sunday.
The 46-year-old Raza, who played nine Tests and 49 one-day internationals for Pakistan, was one of seven men arrested from a busy Lahore shopping area when police raided a gang of bookmakers who were taking illegal bets on Indian Premier League (IPL) games.
"Seven men were arrested after a tip-off that they were taking bets on IPL matches, and one of them has been identified as Raza, a former Pakistan player," a police officer at Gulberg police station, who did not want to be named, told AFP.
Police said they recovered telephone sets, computers, televisions and a large amount of money in the raid, and will charge the arrested men later Sunday.
Raza, who currently stands as umpire in Pakistan's domestic matches, was one of six Pakistan players fined in a match-fixing inquiry conducted by Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum in 2000.
The former off-spinner was regarded as a close friend of former Pakistan captain Salim Malik, who was banned for life by the Qayyum inquiry. Former paceman Ata-ur-Rehman was also handed a life ban.
Pakistan's government ordered the inquiry after Australian players Shane Warne, Mark Waugh and Tim May accused Malik of offering them bribes during Australia's tour to Pakistan in 1995.
Raza, who made his debut in the same series in which Indian master batsman Sachin Tendulkar started his Test career in 1989 in Pakistan, was also part of the team in that series against Australia.
Match-fixing has rocked Pakistan cricket since the accusations by the Australian trio.
Three Pakistani players -- Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer -- were handed lengthy bans by the International Cricket Council in February this year over claims of spot-fixing in last year's Lord's Test against England.
The trio also faces criminal charges in United Kingdom, a hearing for which is scheduled for May 20. AGENCIES